Art, Hip Hop, and NYC Culture Aficionados Globally Mourn the White Wash of 5Pointz

Updated 5:00PM EST December 2nd, 2019: Please note property owner/New York real estate developer Gerald Wolkoff was ordered by Judge Frederic Block to pay $6.7 million to the 23 named artists and approximately 45 murals which were accounted as permanently destroyed in the overnight whitewash of the historic graffiti art area known globally as “5Pointz.” Artists worldwide were previously organizing a petition for restitution and landmark rights. Wolkoff was found guilty by a civil jury of violating VARA–the Visual Artists Rights Act in not giving the arts community any notice of the removal, and further considering the luxury condos set to be built in the area were planning to appropriate the name/cultural value of “5Pointz.”

 

5pointz18-800

IMAGE CREDIT: SNACKISH

 

“This is a win for artists’ rights all across the country. This is a win for the visual artists and their protection.” – Renee Vara to ArtnetNews (Katherine McGrath, journalist)

 

Read more on the update from Architectural Digest here:

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/5-pointz-developer-who-whitewashed-artists-murals-forced-to-pay-them-67-million

 

and the artist’s previous landmark petition update from dna-info here:

https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20131119/long-island-city/5pointz-graffiti-whitewashed-overnight/

 

***

 

Waves of emotion have flooded art, Hip Hop, and cultural communities worldwide as the historic 5Pointz in Queens, New York; known as a mecca to some and creative dreamland to many, was suddenly white washed overnight less than one week ago.

 

IMAGE CREDIT: THE NEW SCHOOL FREE PRESS

 

The sprawling warehouse in Queens adjacent to MoMA Ps. 1 has transformed over 12 years and is home to over 1,500 artists from around the world. As a result of NYC re-zoning efforts, building owner Jerry Wolkoff plans to demolish the building and erect high rise condominiums in its place.

IMAGE CREDIT: THE NEW YORK TIMES

 

Despite Wolkoff’s claim that white washing overnight under police protection was a measure to avoid the “torture” of watching the pieces torn down brick by brick, many perceive it as a rather cruel and unnecessary attack. Especially as some note, since the pieces could have been photographed or extracted before demolition; providing added opportunity for finance and appropriate closure.

 

extralarge

IMAGE CREDIT: BLOCK CLUB CHICAGO

 

The white wash and announcement of demolition have come in the immediate wake of a collective of writers (also known as graffiti artists) and enthusiasts circulating a petition for ownership of the property and rights to preservation.

View here The Guardian’s article for more before and after shots of 5 Pointz

View here more details & Wolkoff’s comments in The New York Times article

 

5pointz-4

IMAGE CREDIT: ART LAW PODCAST

 

 

View here The Wall Street Journal article for development plan details

View here 5Pointz origins and RIP tags in The New School article

Ottoo Brand Artivism-PADER salutes the legacy of 5Pointz.

 

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